According to the U.S. Department of Education, Alabama suffers from a shortage of K-12 teachers in math, science, language arts, special education and other teaching areas. And while its neighboring state Mississippi is not currently listed as lacking sufficient educators, there is a decades-long history of deficits in foreign language, math, science and special education teachers.
One way to support the education of more teachers in these states is via direct awards to students. Voyager Sopris Learning, a division of Cambium Learning Group, Inc., has launched the 2020 Aspiring Teacher Scholarship contest for graduating high school seniors in Mississippi and Alabama who will be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education. To be eligible, students this fall must plan to attend a college or university in the same state where they graduated from high school.
The graduating seniors are asked to submit a 500-word essay on why they want to become a teacher. Two winners will be selected, one from each state, and they will each earn a $1,000 scholarship. The contest is open now and closes July 21 with the winners to be announced Aug. 3.
As part of the essay submission, students are asked to include information about a teacher who helped them advance to where they are today, as well as a letter of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor. Originality and creativity are among the review criteria the judging panel will use to base their decisions.
The 2020 Aspiring Teacher Scholarship is sponsored by LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling), Voyager Sopris Learning’s professional learning series on the science of reading. Both Mississippi and Alabama use LETRS as a key part of their statewide literacy initiatives.
For more information and the application, eligible students should visit:
- Mississippi: https://www.voyagersopris.com/info/ms-scholarship/
- Alabama: https://www.voyagersopris.com/info/al-scholarship/
For more information about Voyager Sopris Learning, visit www.voyagersopris.com.